Power looms bearing the brunt of high electricity tariff

ISLAMABAD-The power looms industry of Faisalabad and adjoining cities is facing the consequences of raised electricity tariffs and increased prices of yarn. The closure of a large number of power looms has affected the daily wage workers the most in shape of layoffs. Approximately, seven million people across the country are associated with and employed in the textile industry, who are deeply concerned over the shrinking size of the industry.
Faisalabad is famous as the country’s textile hub, with hundreds of textile and yarn processing units. Owing to multiple issues, the wheels of the textile sector are closed for the last few months and a negligible number of units are operating with reduced capacity. The weaving industrial units (power looms), which manufacture grey fabric for textile mills and are being run in small and medium-sized units in Faisalabad and Jhnag, are on a downslide owing to the swindling situation in the textile sector of the country with a reduction in exports and raised the cost of production. 
Malik Tariq Ahmed, a weaving factory owner from Jhang, said while talking to WealthPK that the authorities need to take concrete steps to revive the weaving industry. Waheed Khaliq Ramay, a senior office bearer of the Council of Loom Owners Association, said that textile weavers used to run small and medium-sized weaving units, and contrary to the textile mills owners, are unable to afford big losses; therefore, many power looms in Faisalabad and its adjoining cities are closed, rendering thousands of workers jobless.
Ramay urged the government to support domestic manufacturers through a reduction in rates of electricity and gas. Power looms owners say that electricity and yarn prices for power looms have reached record highs in the past few months, and factories have started shutting down due to the raised costs of production. Owing to inconsistency in policies and curbs to import raw material, chemicals, machinery and non-issuance of letters of credit (LCs) from banks, textile exporters are left to face an embarrassing situation in dealing the international buyers, said Azizullah Gohar, secretary general of the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA).
Gohar elaborated that the international buyers are reluctant to place trade orders due to import curbs and political scenarios. About 60-70% of Pakistan’s textile exports depend on the import of cotton. Due to low production of cotton in Pakistan as a result of last year’s floods, Pakistan had to import a huge quantity of the commodity. A spokesperson for the All Pakistan Textile Association (APTMA) spokesperson in a recent statement demanded the government restore the globally competitive energy tariff for industries to make them efficient. He said the current high rates of electricity tariff at Rs19.99 per unit are causing low production and a loss of about $4-5 billion in exports.

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